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Geoffrey Bodine's Near Death Experience By Ron Felix
April 3, 2000
Geoffrey Bodine is lucky to be alive after the horrendous crash on the front stretch
at Daytona last Friday in the Craftsman Truck race. He not only survived what seemed
to be an unsurvivable situation, he actually thought he would be racing at
Rockingham the following week.
Bodine knows now that it won't be possible to race at Rockingham, nor Las Vegas the
following week. In fact it may be a long while before the winner of eighteen Winston
Cup races steps into a car again.
As he lays in the hospital, Dr. Jerry Punch from ESPN interviewed Bodine as he reflected
on his near fatal crash. At one time, either while the wreck was happening or afterward,
he couldn't say for sure, but felt like he may have actually died at some point.
"I've heard stories and heard some people talk about life or near death situations, I
believe I was in that situation," said Bodine, "I might have died out there at sometime,
I don't really know."
"You know a couple of years ago, my brothers and sister lost our father. I never stopped
thinking and caring about him, but through that accident, and I'm not sure what part it
was, but I spoke with my father. I know I did, it wasn't a dream. I didn't need anyone
to pinch me, I know I wasn't dreaming after it happened....
and he was glad to see me, but he said, it wasn't time. So, here I am."
Had the outcome not been the way it was, had the outcome not been that he's alive today,
Bodine wanted his family, friends and fans to know that he used to have a problem dealing
with death, but no longer fears it.
"After seeing and hearing my father and hearing what he said to me, I can sit here and
feel comfortable with it," said Bodine, "If I would have died, I would have been OK
with that. Either way, it would be OK."
The interview was very moving. Bodine wants to race again and he doesn't just want to
be out on the track riding around, he wants to go fast and be competitive.
It may be awhile before Bodine gets a chance to do that again. I don't believe he knows
how close to death that he came.